Reel Chat with SCOTT MARTIN - Major League Fishing

Reel Chat with SCOTT MARTIN

Martin discusses his recent Potomac River win, what's in store for Kentucky Lake and the magnitude of an FLW Tour Angler of the Year title
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Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., held onto the overall lead at the FLW Tour Potomac River event for the third consecutive day. Martin now boasts a three-day total of 52 pounds, 15 ounces heading into Sunday's finals. Photo by Gary Mortenson. Angler: Scott Martin.
June 6, 2012 • MLF • Uncategorized

Welcome to FLW Live Reel Chat. Today we’re joined by National Guard pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., who recently took home the top prize of $125,000 after winning the 2012 FLW Tour Major on the Potomac River.

In addition, Martin now ranks second overall, behind Castrol pro David Dudley, in the 2012 Kellogg’s Angler of the Year race. Martin, who is the son of famous fishing icon Roland Martin, began his FLW career back in 1999.

After winning the prestigious 2011 Forrest Wood Cup last August, Martin out-dueled the entire field this month to capture the FLW Tour Potomac River title after failing to relinquish the lead for four consecutive days. Martin now boasts over $2 million in career earnings, 26 top-10 finishes in FLW-related events, five FLW Tour victories and one FLW Series title.

Today, Martin is here to take questions from you, the fans. So, without further delay, let’s get started.

Q: At what point in the Potomac River tournament did you realize that you were on the winning fish?
— Pat Zak (Oakland, CA)
A: I caught two of my biggest fish within the first 30 minutes on day one at my starting spot and at that point I knew my earlier assumption that I was on good fish was correct. In my mind, I knew there was a potential for catching some big bags there. In practice, I thought that might be the case but you don’t know right away because you’re shaking off fish. But when I landed those fish on the first day, I knew my game plan was solid.

Q: How more or less challenging is it for you when the FLW Tour venue is a river as opposed to a manmade or natural lake? Obviously, you faired well on the Potomac, but are venues like that generally a bit trickier than “regular” lakes?
— Jim Interlandi (Chicage, IL)
A: I enjoy fishing river systems. I don’t ever look at a body of water and ever wish it was something else. I just enjoy the challenge of figuring it out. Sometimes it’s easier to pattern. I’ve enjoyed fishing the Tennessee River and other river systems over the years as well and I’m comfortable fishing them.

Q: How does your recent Potomac River win stack up with the others in your career?
— Titus Song (New York, NY)
A: They are all special in their own right. The Potomc River was a real special one because I dedicated it to my wife. And to be able to pull that off for her was definitely one of the more special moments for me because she’s done a lot for me and our family over the years.

Q: Hi Scott, I’m trying to finalize my Fantasy Fishing picks for Kentucky Lake and was wondering if you can share how your practice went? Good luck tomorrow and God bless!
— Anthony Salimbene (Northampton, MA)
A: My practice for Kentucky Lake has gone pretty good. It’s been one of my better practices here over the years. I always feel good on this lake though; I like it. I caught a lot of fish this week, caught them a lot of different ways. If I have to make any adjustments due to weather, I feel very comfortable making them.

Q: Scott, will you be making the long run down south this week on Kentucky Lake or do you plan on staying up north and having more fishing time?
— Todd (Hendersonville, TN)
A: I’m going to fish a lot of the lake. I’m going to fish a little ways down south to the north end. This lake has a lot of fish in it over that 50-mile stretch.

Q: What tactics do you see winning the Kentucky Lake tournament? How will lower water levels influence the fishing?
— Anonymous (Clarksville, TN)
A: My practice has been productive so far. As far as winning strategies are concerned, the fish have migrated to the river edges and river channels and I’d fully expect the tournament to be won on those patterns. Based on the water levels, the flipping bite should be out of the question. It’s my opinion that the tournament will be won out deep.

Q: What knots do you favor when connecting braid with a fluorocarbon leader and what knots do you use for topwater baits without a split ring? Thanks and God bless!
— Anthony Salimbene (Northampton, MA)
A: The only knot I use when connecting two lines is a double uni knot. For the topwater baits without a split ring – either purchase those split rings at a bait shop or secondly, tie a loop knot.

Q: What is your decision-making process when your main approach or bait is not putting fish in the boat?
— Jim Hartman (Linden, MI)
A: Every situation is different and every lake is different. But I’ll try to do the exact opposite action to what isn’t workiing if that’s the case. If I’m throwing a fast-moving crankbait, for example, I’ll slow down and go with a slower-moving bait.

Q: I’ll be at Roland Martin’s Marina condo from June 10 through June 17. Can you give me any advice on how to fish Lake Okeechobee during that time?
— Tim Tighe (Tullahoma, TN)
A: Topwater lures, like the River2Sea Rover, and lipless crankbaits are all good choices to throw that time of the year on outside grass lines or small little islands out in the lake. Look for schools of fish and keep your eye out for any shad activity.

Q: If you have a 1,500-acre lake that is anywhere from 4- to 30-feet deep, has stained water most of the time and has weeds along the sides of the banks, where would you start looking for fish? The lake has shad also.
— Jim (Ewing, NJ)
A: It always depends on the time of the year. The cooler the water, the deeper I’m going to fish. In the spring, the fish will be around shallow structure. During the hottest parts of the year, again go deep. Plastic worms would be a good starting point.

Q: How has your dad liked his return to professional fishing? Has anything surprised him about how the sport has changed?
— Tony (Springfield, MO)
A: He’s enjoyed it a ton. And the sport has definitely changed, mostly in the small details such as sonar equipment, rods and reels and some of the fine-detailed baits on the market today.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about how you became a professional angler?
— Dan Goetz (St. Louis, MO)
A: I always knew I wanted to fish professionally and started my career as a co-angler in 1999. I wanted to get comfortable traveling around the country and fishing different bodies of water.

Q: I’m new to the FLW this year and I’m taking it pretty slow. But my question is this: When you started out, was it pretty tough to find fish or were you mentored by somebody?
— Stephen Hathcoat (Celina, TX)
A: I’ve always been mentored. My whole family has been involved in fishing my whole life. I’ve learned the ABCs of bass fishing from my mother, father, family and friends. I’ve definitely learned a lot from friends who live all over the country who have showed me a variety of interesting (and productive) new ways to fish.

Q: Now that the season is in full swing, what has been your take on how the Alabama rig has affected FLW Tour anglers and the sport in general so far?
— Jon Pageler (Napa, CA)
A: I don’t think the A-rig craze took over quite like expected this year. And I think early on, it probably hurt some anglers who were really trying to make it work.

Q: What do you think your chances are to win this year’s Angler of the Year title? And how important would that title be to you?
— Jon Stebbins (San Diego, CA)
A: The title would mean a lot to me. It would be a wonderful thing to accomplish but there’s still a lot of the season left. i’m going to have to stay focused, take it one tournament at a time and let the chips fall where they may. But I do like the remaining schedule.

Q: Hey Scott, what is your favorite technique to use during the postpawn?
— Brian (Cape Coral, FL)
A: Early postspawn, I like to go low and slow with big worms and fish them in the mid-depth range. Later in the postspawn, when the fish start getting active again, I like to concentrate on shad patterns, like walking baits and deep-diving crankbaits in a shad color.

Q: Scott, I’m having trouble getting hooked up on a Super Fluke at Lake Hartwell. Do you have any advice or any other bait suggestions for this lake?
— Jason Black (La France, SC)
A: Anytime they’re biting a Fluke, another option is to throw a topwater lure – like a River2Sea Rover – which is a walking bait. Those baits have really good treble hooks and you won’t miss fish.

Q: How would the Alabama rig have worked on your deep-water spot where you won the Forrest Wood Cup? With all the shad, it sounded like the perfect situation.
— Nick L. (Little Rock, AR)
A: It probably would have worked on day one but the unique thing about the Fish Head Spin, it’s obviously a very productive lure, but it’s subtle. I think the subtleness of that bait was probably more productive over the course of a four-day event than the A-rig.

Q: What’s the current status of Lake Okeechobee? I heard it was getting pretty low again.
— Nick L. (Little Rock, AR)
A: Lake Okeechobee water levels always get low in the summer. The fishing overall is still fantastic. This is basically a normal summertime occurrence. It will come back up again in the fall. And that’s just one of the reasons why Lake Okeechobee is so productive. The water fluctuations keep the lake healthy.

Q: My home lake is a 2,150-acre lake on the Chattahoochee River, north of Eufala, Ala. It has at least three tournaments on it a week all summer long. With that small of a lake, is it possible to find a consistent honeyhole? Do you believe fish caught in a tournament go back to where they were caught? If so, how long and where do they stage before going back? Are they catchable while staging?
— Eric Duggins (Columbus, GA)
A: You should be able to find a honeyhole on any body of water. I’d also recommend making your own honeyhole with brush – assuming it’s legal. I also believe fish do go back to their original spots but I don’t know how long that takes. If you do find out, please let me know.

Q: Scott, what baits do you recommend on windy days other than a spinnerbait?
— Bobby (Hollister, MO)
A: Lipless crankbaits, jerkbaits and shallow-running crankbaits are all great choices on a windy day.

Q: When getting ready for a tournament do you usually stick fish when pre-fishing?
— John (Stigar, CA)
A: It depends. If I’m offshore on a school, I stick some to see what kind of grade they are. If I’m fishing isolated shoreline or shallow cover I’m going to shake those fish off and make the best assessment of how big they are because shallow fish don’t replenish nearly as well as schooling fish out deep.

Q: Scott, with the extra grass on Kentucky Lake this week will it make you the favorite to win again?
— John Struthers (Edinburg, TX)
A: There are so many good fishermen in this tournament it’s really hard to predict a winner. Grass or ledges, north or south are all equally good choices. I definitely feel more comfortable in the grass and I’d love to win a second tournament this year. But I’m not going to make any predictions.

Q: What’s your favorite way to fish?
— Dan Goetz (St. Louis, MO)
A: I have many favorites. I pride myself on being versatile. I don’t want to pigeon-hole myself on one technique. I don’t want to limit the ways I can win tournaments.

Q: Have you ever fished Lake Mead or Havasu?
— John (Stigar, CA)
A: No.

Q: Will you fish for smallmouths or largemouths on Champlain this year?
— Greg (Burlington, VT)
A: I’ll have to make that assessement once I get there. That’s the wonderful thing about Champlain, you can win the tournament with all largemouths, all smallmouths or a combination. But anytime you can catch good quality largemouth bass, I’m going to go after them.

Q: I know your faith in Christ is a big part of your life. How do you manage to stay spiritually connected when you’re on the road so much? Thanks and God bless!
— Anthony Salimbene (Northampton, MA)
A: I feed myself with good Christian music and try to read the Word as much as possible and pray.

Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have to chat with Scott Martin today. Thanks, once again, to all the fans who tuned in and participated in today’s Reel Chat. And a special thanks to Scott Martin, the recent FLW Tour winner on the Potomac River, for giving us his time and insights into bass fishing.